They sit on the nightstand and pile up around it: books you intended to read but ignored in lieu of a binge-watching bender. As competition for leisure time heats up, your paperback better be uber-engaging or it will fall second to Netflix marathons, mindless Instagram scrolling and the group text blowing up your phone. Here, Luxe editors weigh in on what has them flipping pages rather than double-tapping.
FOR THE HOT READS-SEEKER
In Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation, a privileged gallery assistant decides to spend a year in a mostly unconscious, medicated stupor in an attempt to hit the reset button on her life. At times, it’s hard to sympathize with the narrator, but Moshfegh raises worthy questions: Might self-imposed exile occasionally be a good idea? How deeply must we feel things to be truly alive, and is there no running from the events that define us?
— MICHELLE BRUNNER, SENIOR EDITOR
FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART
I am a giant fan of children’s lit. I recently read A Monster Calls while on a five-hour bus ride and was not aware how emotional I’d get at the end. Cut to me struggling to contain my sobs while discreetly wiping the snot from my nose as I completely lost it. My seatmate may not have appreciated it, but that is definitely one book that has really stuck with me.
— COLLEEN MCTIERNAN, EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
FOR THE ADVENTURER
Do yourself a favor and read The Great Alone, the latest novel by Kristin Hannah (of The Nightingale fame). This sweeping novel completely transports you to the Alaskan wilderness and the author has such a way with painting the landscape and scenery; it made me want to catch the next flight to Fairbanks.
— KATHRYN GIVEN, SENIOR DESIGN + MARKET EDITOR
FOR THE HISTORY BUFF
I’m currently into Ken Follett’s Column of Fire, the final book in his Kingsbridge trilogy. The author writes exciting and intriguing historical fiction, and if I didn’t force myself to go to sleep, I’d stay up all night reading.
— AMANDA KAHAN, SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
FOR THE TREE HUGGER
My entire life I’ve had the opposite of a green thumb. Like, any plant just shriveled up and died just crossing the threshold into my house. BUT! Things changed or my headspace changed or something, because I can keep plants alive. Now, I keep the Sunset Western Garden book handy at all times (it’s basically the garden bible for us in this part of the country).
— LISA BINGHAM DEWART, HOMES EDITOR
FOR THE NEW PARENT
If I told you I had a thrilling pick at the top of my ever-growing pile, well, I’d be lying. On Becoming Baby Wise has become my guidebook for managing my little one’s day, and — real talk — anything that helps an infant sleep 10-plus hours a night might as well be a contender for a Pulitzer. Frankly, I know a few irritable adults who would benefit from reading a few chapters.
— ILEANA LLORENS, SENIOR WEB EDITOR
FOR THE SELF-HELP ENTHUSIAST
Currently opened on my Kindle is a book called Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller. It sounds more intense than it is, but I love a read that challenges me. This book provokes us to drop our walls and let people in to know our true selves (not just in romance but with friends, family, etc.) and in doing so, achieving more intimate relationships.
— KIMBERLY HELFRICH, SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER
FOR THE HOT-MESS HUMOR FANATIC
I would be lying if I didn’t divulge that I love a good self-sabotage story. How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell is the ultimate, well-written guide on how to throw your life away, NYC-style.
— BRITTANY CHEVALIER MCINTYRE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR
FOR THE POP-CULTURE JUNKIE
Despite the title, English journalist Caitlin Moran’s How to be Famous is not a “how-to” book; it’s a novel about a young female music journalist living in mid-1990s London during the heyday of Britpop and the lengths she’ll go to in order to become well-known and attract the attention of the superstar musician she thinks is “the one.” I love Britpop and was a young music journalist myself during the mid-1990s — okay, in Miami, not London — so I guess that’s what drew me to this wild and witty book.
— NINA KORMAN, MANAGING EDITOR
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